Glossary Terms:

Rationing Transplants: An Ethical Problem

Glossary terms from:


One of many choices or courses of action that might be taken in a given situation.


An amount that must be paid or spent to buy or obtain something. The effort, loss or sacrifice necessary to achieve or obtain something.


A conclusion reached after considering alternatives and their results.

Decision Making

Reaching a conclusion after considering alternatives and their results.


The quantity of a good or service that buyers are willing and able to buy at all possible prices during a period of time.


The study of how people, firms and societies choose to allocate scarce resources with alternative uses.


Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.


Any reward or benefit, such as money, advantage or good feeling, that motivates people to do something.


Payments earned by households for selling or renting their productive resources. May include salaries, wages, interest and dividends.


A practice or arrangement whereby a company provides a guarantee of compensation for specified forms of loss, damage, injury or death. People obtain such guarantees by buying insurance policies, for which they pay premiums. The process allows for the spreading out of risk over a pool of insurance policyholders, with the expectation that only a few policholders will actually experience losses for which claims must be made. Types of insurance include automobile, health, renter's, homeowner's, disability and life.


Money paid regularly, at a particular rate, for the use of borrowed money.


Places, institutions or technological arrangements where or by means of which goods or services are exchanged. Also, the set of all sale and purchase transactions that affect the price of some good or service.


Economic regulation is the prescription of price and output for a specific industry, often a natural monopoly. Social regulation is the prescription of health, safety, performance, environmental, output and job standards across several industries.


The basic kinds of resources used to produce goods and services: land or natural resources, human resources (including labor and entrepreneurship), and capital.


An exchange of goods or services for money.


The condition that exists because human wants exceed the capacity of available resources to satisfy those wants; also a situation in which a resource has more than one valuable use. The problem of scarcity faces all individuals and organizations, including firms and government agencies.


Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.


The situation that results when the quantity demanded for a product exceeds the quantity supplied. Generally happens because the price of the product is below the market equilibrium price.


The amount of a good or service that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at each possible price during a given period of time. Normally, as the price of a good or service rises (or falls), the quantity supplied of the good or service rises (or falls).


The exchange of goods and services for money or other goods and services.